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HUD   >   Program Description   >   Community Outreach Partnerships Centers Program
Community Outreach Partnerships Centers Program (COPC)
Summary:
Community Outreach Partnerships Centers grants help colleges and universities apply their human, intellectual, and institutional resources to the challenge of revitalizing distressed communities.

Purpose:
Few institutions can contribute more to rebuilding America's communities than its colleges and universities. They not only create and transmit knowledge, they are also economic engines, applied technology centers, major employers, investors, real estate developers, and populated with creative and energetic people. COPC is a 5-year demonstration program designed to help universities harness these resources in the service of nearby communities.

Type of Assistance:

Eligible Grantees:
COPC provides competitive 2- to 3-year grants of up to $400,000 to institutions of higher education to establish and operate Community Outreach Partnership Centers (COPCs).

Eligible Customers:
HUD places no restrictions on the characteristics of the areas or the residents who benefit from COPC-supported initiatives.

Eligible Activities:
COPC grants must be used in urban areas. Each COPC grantee addresses at least three of the following issues in the targeted community: local housing, infrastructure, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, health care, crime, or planning. Grantees may contribute to resolving these issues by applying research to urban problems, coordinating outreach efforts with neighborhood groups and residents, acting as a local information exchange, galvanizing support for neighborhood revitalization, developing public service projects and instructional programs, and collaborating with other partnership centers. Examples of activities that successful COPCs have undertaken include:
  • Job training and counseling to reduce unemployment.
  • Resident-backed strategies to spur economic growth and reduce crime.
  • Local initiative to combat housing discrimination and homelessness.
  • Mentoring programs for neighborhood youth.
  • Financial and technical assistance for new businesses.
Grantees must complete their proposed activities within 3 years. COPC applicants must provide outreach, technical assistance services, and information exchange activities that comprise at least 75 percent of total project costs. Research activities designed to address specific problems in the project area cannot exceed 25 percent of total project costs.

Application:
HUD publishes an annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and an application kit for the COPC Program. Application kits are available from the University Partnerships Clearinghouse 1 (800) 245-2691 or through the University Partnerships website. Applications are evaluated by HUD, as well as by a peer review panel.

Funding Status:
The COPC program has been allocated $7.5 million to create Community Outreach Partnership Centers for each of the 5 years of the demonstration. In addition, however, grantees must match at least 50 percent of the cost of research activities and 25 percent of cost of outreach activities with contributions from private sources or State and local governments.
The program has awarded 59 grants to colleges, universities, and consortia since FY 1994. Information on COPC grantees is available on the Internet.

Technical Guidance:
COPC is authorized under Section 851 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (Pub.L. 102-550). It is administered by the Office of University Partnerships within HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research. Contact: Jane Karadbil by phone (202) 708-1537 or email. Hearing or speech-impaired individuals may access this phone number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 1 (800) 877-8339. Program notices related to COPC may be viewed on the OUP website.

For More Information:
The Office of Policy Development and Research publishes a free brochure describing the program, Community Outreach Partnership Centers Program: Colleges and Universities in Service to their Communities (Bro-56). HUD also publishes COPC Central, a quarterly newsletter that highlights the contributions of universities and colleges to local community revitalization efforts. These publications are free from the University Partnerships Clearinghouse 1 (800) 245-2691, which also distributes several other related publications, including An Introduction to HUD for Institutions of Higher Education (HUD-7485).

Success Stories:
See An Overview of Programs and Activities, which highlights COPC success stories. View reports on the activities of COPC grantees from the pages of COPC Central.